Sen. Mitt Romney’s real estate portfolio is shrinking — a bit.
The Utah Republican has sold his beachfront home in La Jolla, Calif. It’s a property he and his wife, Ann, bought in 2008 for $12 million and then bulldozed to build a far larger home, frustrating some of their neighbors.
San Diego County assessed the value of this supersize home at more than $15 million. The Romneys sold it for $23.5 million, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune, to William and Marisa Rastetter. William Rastetter has been a biotechnology leader who worked as the chief executive at IDEC Pharmaceuticals.
The Union-Tribune said it was the third-most expensive home sale in La Jolla.
The sale came to light June 25 during a virtual discussion on infrastructure sponsored by the Salt Lake Chamber. Romney was seated on his bed, the laptop camera tilted to show his ceiling.
“The reason for that is we have sold our home in California,” he said, “and I’m actually in California today, and the movers have cleared everything out except for this bed.”
The senator still has his 5,900-square-foot home in Holladay, which he built in 2014. He has his vacation home in New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee, his $8.9 million ski chalet in Park City, and his place in the Washington, D.C., area.
The senator, former Massachusetts governor and one-time Republican presidential nominee has unloaded his condo in Belmont, Mass., and now the Romneys are leaving their most controversial home set in a stunning location.
Romney’s opponents criticized him during the 2012 presidential race for planning to add a “car elevator” to his La Jolla home, using it to attempt to paint him as a rich, out-of-touch politician. Some in the neighborhood accused him of building a house that was out of character with the decidedly upscale area. His home is at the end of a cul-de-sac and abuts the ocean.
“It was contentious,” Anthony Ciani, an architect and a critic of Romney’s plans, once told The Boston Globe. “The issue was the bulk of it compared to the houses right next to it. It’s not compatible with the gingerbread houses that are immediately adjacent. It’s two, three times bigger than those.”
The Romneys eventually won approval to tear down the 3,000-square-foot home and replaced it with one that was 11,000 square feet. Planning documents show the house includes a library, a basement exercise room and a room for beach gear. The Romneys shopped the house around in 2015, but kept it, until now.